Also referred to as IC, interstitial cystitis is an inflammation of the lining of the bladder that causes frequent and often painful trips to the bathroom. IC can result in pain or pressure below the belly button as well as in the bladder and pelvic area. It’s not uncommon for patients suffering from IC to experience pain during intercourse or to experience discomfort for several months.
Symptoms can vary from patient to patient and even have periods of dormancy before reoccurring. Certain triggers can also cause symptoms to flare up, such as long periods of sitting, menstruation, sexual activity, or exercise. Other common signs are:
The exact reason interstitial cystitis occurs isn’t attributed to one cause; instead, there are several factors that can contribute to the condition, such as a small defect in the lining of the bladder, heredity, allergies, and infection. Just as symptoms vary from person to person, the cause can too.
Once testing and analysis have been completed from a urine sample, you may need to explore a cystoscopy or urodynamic testing to obtain a complete understanding of the communication between your bladder and the rest of your urinary system.
Treatments can be as simple as changing your dietary habits or taking oral medication, but they can also extend into biofeedback therapy or hydrodistension of the bladder. Botox injections are generally recommended to temporarily paralyze the muscles of the bladder.
By making an appointment for a consultation with the talented team at Urology of Greater Atlanta, a customized treatment plan can be created to address your specific case of interstitial cystitis. Given the unique nature of IC, the route of resolution may be different from patient to patient.